Beefeater gin was Allied Domecq's fastest growing brand last year, despite receiving no advertising support and being backed only by a repackaging exercise, the company has revealed. The gin is not even a core brand said Allied, having been relegated in the mid-1990s to the status of a development product in the UK. AD's marketing support has instead concentrated on Courvoisier, Laphroaig, Harvey's Bristol Cream, Teacher's and Tia Maria. But in the middle of last year, Beefeater was revamped and a spokesman said this led to a reappraisal by both retailers and consumers. ACNielsen data shows the brand's volume grew at 2.2% at the beginning of 2001 while the market was declining by 2.1%. By the autumn its annual volume growth had shot up to 76.7%, with the market at 0.6%. Much of this can be accounted for sales through the multiple grocers since ACNielsen reported volume sales through the sector up 330%. The spokesman said the brand had retained high levels of consumer awareness despite the lack of investment. "The new packaging led to relisting by the multiples and we achieved the sales growth without price discounting or increased marketing support. "Beefeater was number one in the premium gin category ahead of Bombay Sapphire and Plymouth, but it did not have the appropriate packaging ­ now it has." {{DRINKS }}

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